Districts in New York aspire to have a high school on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top 100 public high schools in the state. Smithtown did one better. Both high schools, East and West, cracked the top 100 for New York State on the 2016 list, and the top 1,000 nationwide. The list is based on performance on state assessments, graduation rates and how well schools prepare students for college.
“We are very proud of both of our High Schools for making this prestigious list,” Superintendent James Grossane said in an email Monday. “It speaks to the strength of our educational programming K-12 and to the hard work of our students and staff. These honors are also a sign of the support the entire Smithtown Central School District community provides to our schools. Congratulations to our students and staff and thank you to our community for their continued support.”
Smithtown High School West was 76th on the list for New York State and 663rd nationwide, while High School East was 94th in the state and 857th in the country. New York State is home to nearly 1,300 high schools according to “U.S. News & World Report.” West was the 20th best Long Island public high school on the list, while East was 22nd.
Neighboring high schools in Harborfields, Commack and Ward Melville are also within the top 100. Only schools that receive silver or gold medals receive a ranking.
Smithtown is facing potential future financial difficulties, with a declining enrollment and a void in adequate state aid looming, according to district administration, though they have prided themselves in being able to maintain academic excellence despite painful cuts.
“Despite all of the doom and gloom that we’ve talked about, throughout these cuts, the staff in our employ has continued to produce excellence in students,” Joanne McEnroy, vice president of Smithtown’s board of education, said at a recent meeting. “Our programs, although cut, have not suffered. Our students are performing despite this.”
The board of education voted earlier in 2016 to close Branch Brook Elementary School, one of the district’s eight elementary buildings, before the 2017-18 school year, as a cost saving method, much to the dismay of many community members.